While the players on each respective NFL roster may seem superhuman to many, they also address some of the problems that normal people face. For the Jacksonville Jaguars receiver, DJ Chark Jr., the only relevant issue he has had like many other Americans is the battle against anxiety and depression.
“Growing up all my life, I always had a lot of things at once,” Chark said recently when asked about the importance of mental health month. “So I didn’t know how to handle life, school, relationships. Once I got to college, I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression.”
. @ Jaguars receiver @ DJChark82 reveals his struggles with anxiety and depression, and explains the crucial ways he has managed to deal with pain.
For more information or help, visit https://t.co/NLwmIMDBdD. #MentalHealthAwarenessMonth pic.twitter.com/9xn6EMQolL
– NFL (@NFL) May 21, 2021
Chark’s battle led him to a sports psychiatrist who was able to help him cope better with his mental health problems through medicine. From that point on, it certainly seems like things have worked out as he became a second round player, a bowler and a father.
Chark’s success on and off the field is proof that the obstacles to mental health issues can be overcome. As a result, you can define exactly what it means to have good mental health, a tool that can be used to encourage others to seek help.
“Positive mental health for me means freedom, being able to think with a clear mind and acting with a clear mind,” Chark said. “Helps in communication and decision making under stress.”
Chark also shared another way he has been able to overcome mental health issues in addition to medicine, and that is simply enjoying time with his loved ones.
“To keep me mentally healthy, I love spending time with my loved ones and my family – being able to go home and spend time with my wife, being able to go home with my two dogs and treat them.”
Watching players like Chark and others talk about this issue is huge as anxiety is the most common mental illness among Americans according to the ADAA, which affects 40 million adults in the country over the age of 18. Nearly half of Americans who suffer from anxiety also suffer from depression or vice versa. However, with athletes like Chark at the forefront of the battle, those numbers could drop dramatically over time.